Political Forums  

Go Back   Defending The Truth Political Forum > Philosophy and Religion > Religion > Christianity

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 16th, 2011, 08:44 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 710
In a thread on abortion, I jokingly said that perhaps we should ask ourselves about whether our nation was founded on Christian principles. I really had not intention of starting such a discussion, but then in response to my jest, I received the following posting from Ray Kaye, who prior to this posting had not had the pleasure of meeting. Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I am not a Christian. I am Agnostic. I have no dog in this fight; except a love of history.



Also, I believe we should beware of that which we find on the Internet. If a source is not provided, it might be best to not use that quote. For example, I used to quote what I had thought James Madison had said on another topic. He reportedly said: "Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government." --- James Madison.



If you go google and search this quote, you will not find the source of it. You will find the quote used often, but no source.




So, let's see what Ray offers:




A Nation Founded on Christian Principles?




I constantly hear Religious-Right types reminding us that this nation must return to the Christian principles of our founding fathers.

People like
  • George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • John Adams
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • James Madison (considered the author of the U.S. Constitution)
Want to hear what these people really said?



George Washington - "The father of our country"

The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine.



I have seen this one before, but often it is attributed to John Adams and not Washington. Actually, the quote was not made by either President. It comes from a treaty wiith Tripoli and the Barbarian Pirates and was written by Joel Barlow. The treaty was drafted during Washington's presidency, but his 2nd term ended before the treaty was signed. It was signed by Adams. Also, Congress unanimously approved this treaty. Since Adams was a Christian, the possible obvious answer as to why he signed the treaty was to attempt to bring peace with Tripoli who were not Christians and they offered that phrase as an olive branch. I cannot prove that, but it makes logical sense to me.



Thomas Jefferson* -

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature. The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.



This one is from a letter from Jefferson to Adams. I think it is taken slightly out of context. Here is the link to the full letter: http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib...n_Adams_1.html



In this letter, he stated the following: "He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be..." Not being an atheist does not make him a Christian. I have taken the liberty to quote the entire paragraph that contains the quote you have used:



The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.



After reading the full letter and using the full context of the letter, to whom do you think Jefferson was referring to in the underlined portion.



Abraham Lincoln -

The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.



I have been searching the Internet for the a bit of time now and cannot find a source for this quote.



John Adams -

The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and... foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.



I have been searching the Internet for the a bit of time now and cannot find a source for this quote.



James Madison (considered the author of the U.S. Constitution)-

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and severity in the laity; in both superstition, bigotry, and persecution.



Finally, we have a quote that has a verifiable source. This quote comes from Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments. This document was written to argue against an establishment of a religion in Virginia. When you read the full article in the document, you can see that he is against forced financial support of any denomination or even for the Christian churches. I believe the quote says that Christianity was a religion of "purity and efficacy," I further believe that he is not talking about the Christian religion itself, but rather about the people who call themselves Christians. That is why he mentions Clergy and laity. In the last two sentences, he invites us to look back at Christianity prior to establishments. The terms of bigotry and persecution and not speaking against the religion, but could be speaking against some who practice the Christian religion. One could attempt to only use the word of superstition, but I cannot tell whether he is talking about the religion or the people within the religion. Here is the full article from which your quote resides:

7. Because experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. Enquire of the Teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest lustre; those of every sect, point to the ages prior to its incorporation with Civil policy. Propose a restoration of this primitive State in which its Teachers depended on the voluntary rewards of their flocks, many of them predict its downfall. On which Side ought their testimony to have greatest weight, when for or when against their interest?



And it goes on, but you get the idea.



Yes, I get an idea, but I'm not sure it was the one you wanted to give me.



It would be a bit hard to assume that all this was taken out of context.



It is not difficult in the least. Much of it is highly dubious as to whether they are actual quotes.



And, in case you are wondering, these people were not atheists. Generally speaking, they were people who believed in God and espoused solid ethical principles.



Which people? The people who posted the quotes or the people suggested as being the quoter?



You might wonder why you haven't heard about these views before.

The answer is simple.

In accordance with our predominant Judeo-Christian biases they have simply been — how shall we say this — "overlooked."

Could the Religious Right be equating a belief in God with Christianity?

It would seem that most people in the world believe in God...

...but most people in the world aren't Christians.

One thing sure, when it comes to our founding fathers it would seem that the rhetoric of the Religious Right is based more on wishful thinking than on truth.



I agree that most people are not Christian. Even I am not a Christian nor am I a member of the Religious Right. I just study the history of America and while I do not necessarily believe that we are a Christian nation, much would depend on what we mean by Christian nation. With this, I end this posting. I will follow this with some quotes of my own, but not of the type you have posted. I have sources for each one of mine and in most cases, I can provide the entire document.
LesGovt is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 10:30 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 710
To kick off this discussion, let's go back in time to the 1500s. Let's look at a Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh, In the document, it states the following:



Knowe yee that of our especial grace, certaine science, and meere motion, we haue given and graunted, and by these presents for us, our heires and successors, we giue and graunt to our trustie and welbeloued seruant Walter Ralegh, Esquire, and to his heires assignee for euer, free libertie and licence from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, to discover, search, finde out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countries, and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince, nor inhabited by Christian People, as to him, his heires and assignee,...



And for asmuch as upon the finding out, discovering, or inhabiting of such remote lands, countreis, and territories as aforesaid, it shal be necessary for the safetie of al men, that shal aduenture them selues in those murnies or voyages, to determine to line together in Christian peace, and ciuil quietnes ech with other, whereby euery one may with snore pleasure and profit enjoy that whereunto they shall attaine with great Paine and perill, we for vs. our heires and successors, are likewise pleased and contented, and by these presents do giue and graunt to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignee for ever, that tree and they, and euery or any of them,...



So always as the said statutes, lawes, and ordinances may be as neere as conveniently may be, agreeable to the forme of the lawes, statutes, governement, or pollicie of England, and also so as they be not against the true Christian faith, nowe professed in the Church of England, nor in any wise to withdraws any of the subjects or people of those lances or places from the allegiance of vs. our heires and successours, as their immediate Soueraigne vnder God.



Source: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/16th_century/raleigh.asp



Is religion being promoted here? What religion is being promoted? Can laws be against the Christian faith? This is the first that I have found for the colony of Virginia. More to come later.



Now, I must leave until late this evening. I have to get ready to leave with my wife to go shopping and see the movie, "Atlas Shrugged."




LesGovt is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #3
Not Believing My Eyes....
 
imaginethat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Western Slope, Colorado
Posts: 33,552
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
To kick off this discussion, let's go back in time to the 1500s. Let's look at a Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh, In the document, it states the following:



Knowe yee that of our especial grace, certaine science, and meere motion, we haue given and graunted, and by these presents for us, our heires and successors, we giue and graunt to our trustie and welbeloued seruant Walter Ralegh, Esquire, and to his heires assignee for euer, free libertie and licence from time to time, and at all times for ever hereafter, to discover, search, finde out, and view such remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countries, and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince, nor inhabited by Christian People, as to him, his heires and assignee,...



And for asmuch as upon the finding out, discovering, or inhabiting of such remote lands, countreis, and territories as aforesaid, it shal be necessary for the safetie of al men, that shal aduenture them selues in those murnies or voyages, to determine to line together in Christian peace, and ciuil quietnes ech with other, whereby euery one may with snore pleasure and profit enjoy that whereunto they shall attaine with great Paine and perill, we for vs. our heires and successors, are likewise pleased and contented, and by these presents do giue and graunt to the said Walter Ralegh, his heires and assignee for ever, that tree and they, and euery or any of them,...



So always as the said statutes, lawes, and ordinances may be as neere as conveniently may be, agreeable to the forme of the lawes, statutes, governement, or pollicie of England, and also so as they be not against the true Christian faith, nowe professed in the Church of England, nor in any wise to withdraws any of the subjects or people of those lances or places from the allegiance of vs. our heires and successours, as their immediate Soueraigne vnder God.



Source: http://avalon.law.ya...ury/raleigh.asp



Is religion being promoted here? What religion is being promoted? Can laws be against the Christian faith? This is the first that I have found for the colony of Virginia. More to come later.



Now, I must leave until late this evening. I have to get ready to leave with my wife to go shopping and see the movie, "Atlas Shrugged."


The highlighted phrases do establish an intimate connection between state and church, and do provide a rationale for dealing with heathens, namely: conquer them, lie to them regarding treaties, steal their lands, kill them when necessary ... to establish a "christian peace."



Yes, just as Jesus commanded his followers to do: Lie, steal, and kill......



Are you sure you want to continue making your point?
imaginethat is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I am not a Christian. I am Agnostic.
Strange that a self-proclaimed agnostic non-Christian would cite the bible as authority as often as you do in your comments.



Regarding where we're at today with the constitution relative to Christianity, just two words: "Lemon Test."
skrekk is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by skrekk View Post
Strange that a self-proclaimed agnostic non-Christian would cite the bible as authority as often as you do in your comments.



Regarding where we're at today with the constitution relative to Christianity, just two words: "Lemon Test."


I am truly pleased that you find that strange. I have not posted one quote from the Bible in this thread. I believe I have only posted quotes in two or three postings out of 275 plus postings. Is that what you consider as often? Also, I believe that the discussion was with a self-proclaimed Christian, so I tried to speak using her framework for understanding. I am not sure why that is considered strange, but we all view things differently. As for the "Lemon Test," that was not around in the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, or even 1800s. And, I don't believe the founding took place in the 1970s. I'm sorry, but that is a bit off topic.
LesGovt is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 08:04 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
The highlighted phrases do establish an intimate connection between state and church, and do provide a rationale for dealing with heathens, namely: conquer them, lie to them regarding treaties, steal their lands, kill them when necessary ... to establish a "christian peace."

Yes, just as Jesus commanded his followers to do: Lie, steal, and kill......



Are you sure you want to continue making your point?


Sure, I wish to continue this thread. The fact is that the Charter for Sir Walter Raleigh was founded upon Christian Principles. They wanted to bring Christianity to the new world. You may find this wrong, but it was of an age when exploration and discovery took place. I am not making an argument for or against having white people come to America nor bringing the Christian religion with them. I am simply pointing out that which is historically factual. Sor far, it appears that you agree with my contention. Thanks.
LesGovt is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 710
November 20, 1606



And wee doe especially ordaine, charge, and require, the said presidents and councells, and the ministers of the said several colonies respectively, within their several limits and precincts, that they, with all diligence, care, and respect, doe provide, that the true word, and service of God and Christian faith be preached, planted, and used, not only within every of the said several colonies, and plantations, but alsoe as much as they may amongst the salvage people which doe or shall adjoine unto them, or border upon them, according to the doctrine, rights, and religion now professed and established within our realme of England…. Hening, I, 68-69.



This was from the Virginia Assembly. As they founded government, they still promoted Christian Principles.



LesGovt is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 08:31 PM   #8
Not Believing My Eyes....
 
imaginethat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Western Slope, Colorado
Posts: 33,552
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
Sure, I wish to continue this thread. The fact is that the Charter for Sir Walter Raleigh was founded upon Christian Principles. They wanted to bring Christianity to the new world. You may find this wrong, but it was of an age when exploration and discovery took place. I am not making an argument for or against having white people come to America nor bringing the Christian religion with them. I am simply pointing out that which is historically factual. Sor far, it appears that you agree with my contention. Thanks.


Well you're gravely mistaken. I agree, "it's history," but I deny the lying, stealing, and killing that was done "according to Christian principles."



You cannot, nor can anyone, point to any teaching of Christ which justifies what was done "in his name" on this continent., or hemisphere for that matter. The best you'll be able to establish is that our nation was founded on some Christian principles, and in complete antithesis to others.



Thus, our nation is not a Christian nation, none ever has existed except in name only, and the religion that Europeans brought with them, had they fully comprehended Christ's teaching, wouldn't have had them acting as Muslims, "spreading Christianity" at the end of a sword.



By the time the Europeans colonized the New World, the churches had thoroughly abandoned many of Christ's teachings through their alliance with corrupt political leaders dedicated to war and conquest. Your being the student of American history know that most of our Founders did not speak out against the teachings of Christ, but rather the practices of Christendom. And they condemned it vigorously.



Perhaps you can continue to demonstrate that our nation was founded on some Christian principles, but no more.
imaginethat is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #9
Not Believing My Eyes....
 
imaginethat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Western Slope, Colorado
Posts: 33,552
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by skrekk' timestamp='1302981474' post='330793
Strange that a self-proclaimed agnostic non-Christian would cite the bible as authority as often as you do in your comments.



Regarding where we're at today with the constitution relative to Christianity, just two words: "Lemon Test."




I am truly pleased that you find that strange. I have not posted one quote from the Bible in this thread. I believe I have only posted quotes in two or three postings out of 275 plus postings. Is that what you consider as often? Also, I believe that the discussion was with a self-proclaimed Christian, so I tried to speak using her framework for understanding. I am not sure why that is considered strange, but we all view things differently. As for the "Lemon Test," that was not around in the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, or even 1800s. And, I don't believe the founding took place in the 1970s. I'm sorry, but that is a bit off topic.


Dodge.
imaginethat is offline  
Old April 16th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
Dodge.
Yep, and a rather obvious one.
skrekk is offline  
Closed Thread

  Defending The Truth Political Forum > Philosophy and Religion > Religion > Christianity

Tags
christian, founded, nation, principles

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why Is Obama Trying To Go Against America's Most Fundamental Principles? borden123 Conservatism 1100 March 4th, 2012 10:19 AM
Six Principles Of Global Manipulation polkont Conspiracy Theories 2 March 13th, 2011 01:30 PM
McCain says "America is a Christian Nation Only" tadpole256 Christianity 111 June 19th, 2008 09:44 AM
McCain criticized for calling U.S. 'Christian nation' CNN Christianity 81 October 21st, 2007 07:34 AM
America Was NOT Founded by Christians... Debunking the Myth... tadpole256 Religion 20 August 6th, 2006 11:08 AM


Facebook Twitter RSS Feed



Copyright © 2005-2013 Defending The Truth. All rights reserved.